The Way I See It!

I am an Ultra-Conservative, Alpha-Male, True Authentic Leader, Type "C" Personality, who is very active in my community; whether it is donating time, clothes or money for Project Concern or going to Common Council meetings and voicing my opinions. As a blogger, I intend to provide a different viewpoint "The way I see it!" on various world, national and local issues with a few helpful tips & tidbits sprinkled in.

We can make a difference

Crime, Cudahy, Leadership, Police, retail, Safety, Wal-Mart

As I stated in my State of Cudahy post, just after the “Master Plan” meeting I was talking to Mayor McCue and asked him if he was going to do a State of City address?  He looked at me and said he had not thought about it before, but he thought it was a great idea.  I was ecstatic to find out he took my suggestion and was going to do it.


I was even more elated that he gave it.  I am disappointed in that roughly only 62 people showed up.  People you need to be involved.  I hope Mayor McCue has something in print and on the Internet to get to the masses that were not in attendance.


I do like the state of city address fashioned like Mayor Barrett’s in Milwaukee and County Executive Walker’s.  It might be because I love speeches and information.


I did find out that in the past Cudahy has had in informal version one in the city newsletter twice per year to keep all households informed.  In a formal sense, the budget presentation as the future needs of the city when presenting the yearly executive budget.


One thing that is related to many of my concerns about communications was solidified while reading the Milwaukee Journal on March 15, 2008.


The article was called, “More view government as secretive, poll shows” 50% of the polled respondents said government at the state level is secretive, while 44% viewed it as open.  Those who see local government as secretive increased from 34% in 2007 to 40% in the 2008 survey.  A majority of people also want access to information such as with whom did lawmakers meet with each day (82%), police reports about specific crimes in neighborhoods (71%) and permits for concealed handguns (66%).


One reader emailed me about a concern that Mayor McCue doesn’t take the full time job of mayor seriously in that the amount of time he spends not in the office is great (golfing, at home, out of town or just unknown).  They went on to say that since the job of mayor is full time, Mayor McCue should be in the office between 8 am to 5 pm unless he is at an off-site city meeting.  If McCue feels that, the Mayor’s job should be part time and he acts as if it is, will he take the pay cut that would go with the change?  Is this the right thing for Cudahy?  (I’ve found McCue available in the office when I’ve contacted him, therefore, I can’t substantiate what this emailer has stated.)  During the meeting, Mayor McCue talked that he works about 45-55 hours a week.

They continued to say when Ryan McCue ran for Mayor, he campaigned on his frustration of closed-door meetings on his website, and in his attacks.  When they were working out the 6-month extension for the IcePort lawyers, and all the meetings of the council and CDA regarding this MoU (Memorandum of Understanding) with Cobalt on Pennsylvania and Layton, the meeting notices all talk about going into closed session.  What happened to his idea of open government?  During the meeting, Mayor McCue stated these close door meetings protect the city.

Now if you look at the statistics provided from the Milwaukee Journal from above, 82% of people want access to information such as with whom lawmakers meet with each day and 40% think local government is secretive.  Since “WE” the taxpayers pay for the city employees, I can see that we should have access to the time cards and that salaried employees are putting in the amount of time WE are paying for.  Of course, I would want this posted on the web instead of having to drive to city hall to find out the info.


The stonewall and vacuum created by this lack of knowledge has been filled with the misinformation, rumors, theories, worries, and frustrations rather then the open honest truth.  It is time to open the spigot and have the gush of information flow to the citizens, and just as we all have city provided water in our homes, we should have city provide info in our homes on the Internet.


Just think of me as the third eye watching.


We can and have made a difference; the State of the City address is proof.


So what was said in the State of the City?  Here are highlights.  I will have an in depth report once I convert my recorder to mp3 and then to type.


Well, Mayor McCue said the state of the city is strong.  We have bumps in the road and we need to ID the problems and make sure we have solutions.


We did not have a HR manual (see the Mayor likes to have things in print, now only if he would give us the same) and no IT person.  He said we will work with and look at other cities to compile our HR manual and work with Milwaukee County’s IT staff.


Our website is getting better (Robert Goss – Clerk/Treasurer has been doing what he can to keep it updated and running, hats off to him) and again we will look at other cities for direction.  Remember people, our website was done by a high school student.


A lot of positive changes are coming down the pipe.


We are adding a police officer and looking at going forward with the K9 unit.  Right now Mayor McCue is 98% behind it.  The crime suppression unit is working very well.  As of the meeting, more search warrants were issued and followed through than all of 2007.


Continental has asked to be on the April 8th Plan commission meeting agenda at 7pm, currently the land is zoned M1 for light industrial.


A parking lot on the vacant land just to the north west of the library will be paved connecting the city lounge and the library area.  Giving downtown more parking.


The city is still working with Cobalt on the use of land on Pennsylvania and Layton.


The Mayor did apologize for his failure of his campaign promise of communication (he followed the philosophy “Own up when you mess up” let us hope it continues in the future).  He hopes to hold many more open meetings, and again reiterated that you can call or stop by (he is not in the original Mayor’s office though).  I was saddened that again no mention of email.


Why must I have to data mine for information, which is public as part of the open records and should be front and center in the open on the respected websites.


Folks, it was nice to hear Mayor McCue use a Ronald Reagan quote I used “Trust, but verify” in my recent post “A Wal-Mart Hypothetical”.  I had to chuckle hearing it, as my post must have had a small impact, if only to jog people’s memories of the quote.  Reread that one or read it for the first time if you missed it, it was good (Lets hope it isn’t true or comes true).  Our elected and appointed officials do read my posts and do hear US.  I say US, since many of my blogs are inspired and include your emails.  Of course, without your names, unless you asked me to use it.

Overall, I was happy and thought the Mayor did a good job.  Again, I will have a more detailed report later.  I will be taking suggestions on doing a report card for his first year in office, but I will need your help when the time comes.  So be thinking how you would rate him!

 If hindsight has 20/20 vision, forethought is a hawk’s with 20/2 vision

- Randy Hollenbeck

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